My Journey Of Faith
92 pages
English

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My Journey Of Faith

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Obtenez un accès à la bibliothèque pour le consulter en ligne
En savoir plus
92 pages
English

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Description

The true story of Charles Mulli’s journey of faith, told from his own perspective. Led by God to sell everything he owned and begin rescuing street children from the slums of Kenya, his story describes his incredible life of faith, with love, miracles, and powerful answers to prayer, persuasively demonstrating what a close walk with God can do.

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Date de parution 16 mars 2016
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781927355787
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

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My Journey of Faith: An Encounter with Christ and How He Used Me to Spread His Love to the Poor
Copyright © 2016 Charles Mutua Mulli
All rights reserved
Printed in Canada
International Standard Book Number: 978-1-927355-77-0
ISBN 978-1-927355-78-7 EPUB
Published by:
Castle Quay Books
19-24 Laguna Pkwy, Lagoon City, Brechin, Ontario, L0K 1B0
Tel: (416) 573-3249
E-mail: info@castlequaybooks.com www.castlequaybooks.com
Edited by Marina Hofman Willard and Paul Boge
Proofread by Lori Mackay
Cover design by Burst Impressions
Printed at Essence Printing, Belleville, Ontario
Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright © 2011 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Mulli, Charles, author
My journey of faith : an encounter with Christ ... and how he
used me to spread his love to the poor / Dr. Charles Mutua Mulli.
ISBN 978-1-927355-77-0 (paperback)
1. Mulli, Charles. 2. Mully Children's Family--Biography.
3. Christian biography--Kenya. 4. Kenya--Biography. I. Title.
HV28.M84A3 2016 362.73'2096762 C2016-900169-5
Praise for My Journey of Faith
In 2003 I, a stranger to Mr. Mulli, sent him a letter offering to transport three of his children across Canada on the back of a modified tandem bike, creating awareness and raising funds for MCF. Three weeks later he replied, “After discussion with my wife, Esther, my biological family, and seeking God’s will through prayer, I believe this to be the beginning of a lifetime partnership.” We were amazed at the faith required to trust a complete stranger with his kids.
As you read My Journey of Faith you, too, will be amazed by his example of unwavering faith in God, inspired to trust God more in your own journey and motivated to put your faith into action.
Arvid Loewen, founder of GrandpasCan, director with MCF Canada
***
I highly recommend the amazing story of this man and wife of compassion and action. The wealthy, successful Mully family abandoned their earthly riches and social prestige so they could transform despair into radiant hope for the desperate broken street kids of Kenya. Though insane by earthly standards, they were totally sane by God’s standards and very wise investors. Their riches now are not in money or land but in thousands of transformed lives in Kenya and beyond. The future, though not yet written, may be even greater than the past. I am highly honoured to be counted among their friend for many years.
Rev. Jack Hawkins, Minister at Large with OM Canada
***
Dr. Charles Mulli’s 25th anniversary account, My Journey of Faith , is a remarkable testimony to God’s power and God’s grace in every situation. The unspeakable things Charles Mulli saw and endured were overcome when he accepted Christ and gave his life to God. Charles Mulli’s heart for the children who walk the streets and endure hunger, exploitation and fear, just like he did as a young boy, changed the heart of Africa and beyond. Dr. Mulli’s complete surrender to God and His will allowed Dr. Mulli to be blessed beyond his expectations. There were miracles, one after another, solely because Dr. Mulli believed that anything was possible through Christ. This book is a testimony to us all. It is a walk of faith all of us as Christians benefit from reading. My Journey of Faith brings Dr. Mulli’s journey of faith alive and real to all of us. His story leaves us with inspiration to carry on in tough times because God is real and He is always with us.
Joy Smith, B.Ed., M.Ed., founder and president of The Joy Smith Foundation
***
Many people dream of doing something that matters, of making a difference in the world, of impacting lives. The incredible truth about Charles’ life is that he is actually doing something that matters; he is making a real difference in this world and he is impacting lives in a most profound way. And how beautiful that Mully Children’s Family all began with a simply act of human kindness and an awareness of those who were suffering in Charles’ community. My Journey of Faith is a very human story. It is a story of suffering and triumph, of compassion and celebration, of self-sacrifice and trust in God.
Marina Hofman Willard, Ph.D., Palm Beach Atlantic University
***
My wife, Erna, and I visited the Mully orphanage several years ago. We were moved by the love and care for the homeless children of Africa. For us, this book completes the story of why the orphanage exists. Charles Mulli, the founder, tells it with candour and honesty. We read of his call from God to leave his successful business career to rescue children from abject poverty and abuse. The lasting transformation of thousands of children leaves a legacy that glorifies God.
Herb and Erna Buller, Buller Foundation
***
My Journey Of Faith gives us a personal insight into the challenges Charles Mulli has overcome in his mission of love in rescuing children in Africa. From his difficult beginnings as an abandoned child to becoming successful in business, Charles Mulli describes how God used these circumstances to shape him for his eventual role of being a father to so many fatherless children. He explains how, when circumstances seemed hopeless, he trusted in God. I have personally been amazed at his life. In spite of all the many great accomplishments, his life is one of simple and profound surrender to and reliance on Jesus. And it is this love for Jesus that impacts everything he does. In this book, Charles Mulli shows us that a life of faith is not just for a simple few. Rather, it is accessible to us all. Each of us wants our life to count. And Charles Mulli points us to how that is possible through a relationship with Christ.
Paul H. Boge, author of Father to the Fatherless: The Charles Mulli Story , Hope for the Hopeless: The Charles Mulli Mission , and The Biggest Family in the World
Table of Contents
Foreword
Introduction
1. The 25th Anniversary: A Celebration of What God Has Accomplished
2. Humble Beginnings
3. A Call to Respond to the Voice of Suffering Children
4. The Beginning of Mully Children’s Family
5. My Journey of Faith
6. The Plight and Redemption of the Street Children
7. Don’t Praise Me; Praise God!
8. A Mission to Reach Children with the Good News of Jesus
9. Fighting for Justice
10. Responding to Violence: MCF’s Intervention in the Post-Election Violence
11. God Accomplishes More Than We Can Imagine
12. Finishing the Race
13. The Art of Philanthropy
14. Our Divine Calling Expands: Mully University
15. Your Journey of Faith
Foreword
There is only one valid explanation for a true work of God—it is that God Himself is its source and its strength. Paul wrote in Romans 15:18, “I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me.” That is the only story worth telling, and this is one such story you hold in your hand. It is an unfinished story of what Christ is accomplishing in that beautiful land of Kenya and in the broken lives of some of its people.
Not many parents can lay claim to having 2,500 children, but such is the relationship of Charles and Esther Mulli to their adopted family that each child knows them as “Mummy” and “Daddy.” From the very small beginning of taking three young, helpless street children into their home to live alongside their biological family, Charles and Esther have become established as parents (as some have said) of the largest family in the world! But it’s not just that they provide a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs, but a whole enterprise of education, health care, the development of barren land, business, a model of agriculture to the wider community and so much more has come about. Every sphere of life is included.
Of course there are human elements in this story. Charles Mulli himself had become a wealthy Kenyan businessman, despite the poverty and lack of opportunity of his own childhood. He laid aside all the benefits of material prosperity to invest in those who had nothing. But this alone does not suffice as an explanation! It is a story of the living God, taking possession of a humble family and enabling a stream of life to flow out of their hearts to bless and enrich others.
This work did not grow out of vision but out of opportunity. Every true work of God starts that way. As one opportunity is taken, another presents itself, ever growing, ever expanding, until a pattern and picture become clear about the way ahead. Part of that picture is unfinished. A university is now planned to provide a level of education and qualification for those unable to afford the normal means. And what next? Only God, in whose heart this began, really knows!
Enjoy this book, enjoy this family, and enjoy the God who is making it all happen.
Charles Price, former senior pastor of People’s Church in Toronto, Canada and host of Living Truth, an hour-long international television ministry program
Introduction
Each of us is on a journey through life. We have the opportunity to choose the direction our life on earth will take. In my life, at a time when everything seemed completely hopeless, I responded to God’s call and surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. That simple, profound act set my life on a journey of faith in rescuing thousands of children through Mully Children’s Family (MCF) in Africa. I have experienced the transforming power of God’s love in my own life and in the lives of many others. I have faced so many challenges and seen the impossible become possible. And I have encountered God every step of the way.
And this is possible for you, too.
My dream in writing this book is for you to gain a deeper understanding of our God who lives in us who believe—that you will have confidence in His power. I want to share my journey of faith with you so that you can have a glimpse of life up in the mountains and down in the valleys as I have overcome many challenges and done great things in the Lord. I hope this story will help you see how God is at work using His people today like He used them many years ago—people like Moses and Joshua.
And I hope this book will challenge you to evaluate yourself to see if you are living in the fulfillment of God’s wonderful purpose for your life.
Be blessed and encouraged in the love of Jesus.
Charles Mutua Mulli
Chapter One: The 25th Anniversary—A Celebration of What God Has Accomplished
The MCF celebrated 25 years of existence on November 14, 2014. Within this period, we have been able—by the grace of God—to transform the lives of thousands of young Kenyan children and restore their hope after they had been abandoned. With the motto of “Saving Children’s Lives” MCF has endeavoured to heal hurting souls and turn sad faces into happy ones. We have touched the lives of children who had no hope and have given them an opportunity to flourish.
These were 25 years of tremendous humanitarian intervention and transformation undertaken by MCF—a charitable organization that I established in 1989 to care for orphaned, vulnerable, abandoned, abused and neglected children.
It started with a simple, absolute surrender to God’s call. And He has blessed it beyond what I could ever have imagined. We have major centres in Ndalani and Yatta in Machakos County and branches in Kitale (Kipsongo), Kilifi (Vipingo) and Lodwar. By the grace of God we have been used to rescue more than 10,000 precious children.
Friends, supporters, partners and other stakeholders from all over the world attended our silver jubilee celebration. We had guests from Uganda, Tanzania, Canada, Australia, Germany, America, Taiwan and other countries where we have friends who have partnered with us over the years to save children’s lives. Over 3,000 people were in attendance. It was also a moment of reunion for MCF beneficiaries. Former MCF children who were serving in various capacities in Kenya and even globally were happy to come back home and meet with their daddy, mummy, brothers and sisters. The highly publicized event was covered live on national television.
The celebration took place at MCF Yatta and was marked by jubilation and thanksgiving as the children who were once desperate were now full of hope. Many of them had achieved their life dreams. Their beaming faces reflected a great sense of renewal, confidence and optimism. People who were once considered a nuisance were now very useful members of society. Most of them were already serving in key professions across the country and abroad. They gave moving testimonies of how MCF had positively impacted their lives.
Their stories of triumph filled my heart with joy. I was impressed and humbled to see how God had enabled us to go out and touch children’s lives by turning their misery into victory. MCF has saved these thousands of children from the harsh, cruel street life and nurtured them into men and women of substance.
“I came here after being rescued from the streets, where I had lived for many years. I was so hopeless. But later I learned that it does not matter where you come from; what matters is where you are going,” one of the beneficiaries testified. These sentiments were echoed by many other MCF beneficiaries.
It was amazing to hear the stories of children who used to rummage through garbage cans in the streets, for as many as ten years, who had never gone to school, had nothing to eat, had nowhere to sleep and did not know God. But all these circumstances changed. They came to know God and received an education, followed by special training for various careers. Now they are earning incomes and leading honourable lives.
These are children who used to spend their lives walking the streets, carrying heavy sacks filled with leftovers and satisfying their addiction to glue. Their health was poor due to persistent drug abuse, malnourishment and a diet consisting of mainly filthy leftovers found in the garbage. They did not know values such as honesty, courtesy, love or kindness. All they knew was fighting, abusing one another, plotting malice against one another, stealing and even killing.
But after undergoing rehabilitation at MCF, their lives changed dramatically for the better. They became physically, mentally, socially, emotionally and spiritually healthy. They came to lead dignified lives full of hope. Most of them have gone on to succeed in life.
They gave numerous testimonies about everything being possible with God. Their faces denoted happiness and contentment—something that told a very long and exciting story. This reinforced our theme for the day: Celebrating 25 years of our unfathomable God. It is true—God is unfathomable, because He can perform miracles that no human being understands. He can move mountains, He can change the course of a river, and He can make a way where there seems to be no way.
In Psalm 118:22, the Bible says, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” This was true in the lives of these children. These children were the stone that was rejected. Just like in the story of the stone that was rejected by the builders, these children were considered less important in society. I personally witnessed how society regarded the children as less significant, but God transformed them into pillars of society. How is it possible that a child who had been in the streets for as many as ten years could eventually rise up to become a medical doctor? How could you expect an abandoned child from a remote cattle-rustling-prone area to defeat all odds to become a leading information technology expert with a global institution? Or how about the case of a former street child who eventually opens a children’s home to rescue the helpless in society? Only God can make that possible.
Truly, it was difficult to understand and explain how God had touched and transformed the lives of these abandoned street children—who were rejected and written off everywhere they went—and turned them into doctors, engineers, teachers, accountants, managers and successful businesspeople, among other careers.
As we marked 25 years, we celebrated all the needy children who had already benefited directly from this charitable organization. Those who had benefited indirectly are triple that number. Another 2,500 were receiving various forms of assistance, mainly through formal education, vocational training, the provision of basic needs (food, clothing and shelter), mentorship and rehabilitation, among other forms of life support. As I quietly reflected over these statistics, it dawned on me that MCF had actually operated for many years and had accomplished a lot in society. I realized that we had come a long way and had accomplished many good things. Still, I felt we could go further.
Even as the beneficiaries, staff, friends and other stakeholders celebrated MCF’s milestone, I sighed with relief, coupled with absolute astonishment, and thanked the Almighty God for having brought us this far. I knew that nothing happens without God’s divine intervention and all that we had witnessed at MCF was a result of His mercy upon us. In the process, I remembered my favourite song:
This is the day that the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
This is the day,
This the day that the Lord has made.
This was truly a special day that the Lord had made. It was a day that signified God’s massive presence in MCF. I realized that our efforts to save children’s lives had not been in vain. God’s blessing upon MCF was abundant in the manner that the Bible says in Luke 6:38: “a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.”
***
Seeing representatives of the thousands of children who passed through MCF really touched me. I thanked God for giving me the energy and inspiration to serve and motivate these children, who all called me Daddy, and reflected on the role God placed me in. I came to realize that, beyond the usual roles of provider, caregiver, confidant and family peacekeeper, being a father means that you are a role model to your children. They will follow your steps, consider your opinions and learn from your example. Through this, I became more careful about the way I conducted myself, because they would adopt the behaviour that I portrayed. I realized that children learn more through observation than from what they are told. Thus I chose to be a good example—through actions—to help them prepare for a better tomorrow.
I resolved that as a father to thousands of children, I must make every effort to do the right thing at the right time and to make intelligent and thoughtful decisions that would benefit all the children under my care. I also learned to be a good listener, to be compassionate and patient. Furthermore, I purposed to be respectful and instill the same virtues in my thousands of children.
As the head of what is considered to be one of the largest families in the world, with over 2,500 children presently under care, not to mention those who have come and gone, I love each of my children, and I try to spend as much time with them as I can. I always create an opportunity to meet them regularly, both formally and informally, in their dormitories, in class, on the pitch, as they eat and when they walk in the compound. We crack jokes and bond while at the same time I listen to any issues that they have.
I spend most of my time with them encouraging them to be positive in life—to avoid looking at what they do not have and instead to learn to appreciate how far God had already brought them. As such, whenever we meet, we discuss matters pertaining to their future plans and aspirations.
All the same, I appreciate that in every home, especially a big one like MCF, there are a number of setbacks and challenges. But we purpose to treat them as minor hiccups and not permanent obstacles. I tell my children that challenges are only meant to test their resilience and not to deter them from marching on to victory. Furthermore, I encourage the children not to mourn over their past misfortunes but to focus on rebuilding their lives for future greatness.
Most importantly, I never discriminate against any of them, and this makes them grow up feeling they are part of a big, loving and caring family. I show them that they are not in MCF by accident but rather by the will of God. They belong here. They are part of this huge family.
I am always fully aware of the fact that most of the children we take into MCF have faced very difficult pasts. They have been rejected by their own family members and society. They have been discriminated against and treated as insignificant. People who were supposed to protect them abused them. And they have been molested and shown all manner of brutality and many other unfortunate happenings. Thus we strive to make a change and to show these children that they have invaluable worth and that we care for and love them. We endeavour to show them the other, good side of the world, which God desires for us all. That is when the true meaning of healing hurting souls is portrayed.
***
As we celebrated the silver jubilee, I recognized that the journey had not always been smooth. The MCF story has occasionally been full of hills, potholes, sharp thorns and rough, slippery surfaces. But I thank God for making us strong and enabling us to move on successfully and achieve our goals. Despite the challenges we face at MCF, I am always encouraged by God’s promises to King Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:14. It says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
I tell the children to observe this proclamation—humble themselves before the Lord, and He will save their lives. In my talks with MCF children and staff, I have always maintained that we must be humble and respectful to God and those around us. I have strongly spoken against pride, dishonesty, thanklessness and selfishness and urged MCF family members to always remain down to earth and put the wishes of others first. And I came to notice that whenever you put others first, God even puts you ahead of them. I can testify that through us serving others well, God has listened to our prayers and lifted us up.
MCF has gone through an epic journey, full of surprising revelations from God. The initial 25 years showed me that with God everything is possible and that He does not forsake His people as long as they have faith in Him, obey His commandments and live by His Word. While on this mission, I learned that God can manifest Himself in very many ways, through all manner of people and actions. You never know when He is going to bless you. You can never predict His next step. He makes things happen when you least expect them to happen. Every time we pray to Him, He answers our prayers. It may take a day, a week, a month, a year or even a decade, but He will respond positively.
***
One particular blessing we celebrated is God’s consistent provision for our need for food. Since 1989, my main concern and prayer request has been to feed the numerous children I have taken in. While living on the streets, they languished in hunger, and I would not have wished to see them go through the same while at MCF. At one point, all the food in our stores was depleted and the money in the bank was finished, but I knew God would not forsake us. He has always come to our rescue at the hour we were most in need. He has always touched people’s hearts to provide aid.
As MCF grew, we felt the need to engage extensively in agriculture to ensure sustainability. God has enabled us to be self-sustaining by blessing our land and making it very productive. We have been able to grow food in a semi-arid part of Kenya. We even export food and sell it to Western parts of the world. The MCF farm has constantly supplied tomatoes, French beans, onions, eggs and other farm produce to markets in Kenya and even globally.
We saw God’s favour when we joined a list of selected farms in Kenya that were awarded the Global GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) certification, which enables us to export our produce to European markets and other parts of the world. This international body sets standards for the certification of agricultural products around the globe. They took us through a thorough inspection process at the Yatta and Ndalani farms and confirmed that our agricultural practices met international standards and that our products were safe for consumption in international markets. As a result, we export French beans and tomatoes to European markets every week. The proceeds from these sales have been instrumental in feeding, educating and clothing our MCF children.
In Psalm 23:1 the Bible says, “The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” This popular statement may sound quite familiar and ordinary, owing to its wide usage, but truly when you trust in God, you cannot lack anything, and neither can you fail to achieve the desires of your heart. MCF is a living testimony to this declaration.
We have seen God shepherd us compassionately. Despite the difficult times we have encountered, we have not lacked food for our children or the resources to educate them. Despite the harsh economic conditions in Kenya, we have been able to meet all our financial obligations. This truly manifested God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This has come to pass. Though many children were leading hopeless lives in the streets, while others were orphaned and abandoned, God’s plan was not to destroy them but rather to give them a hope and a future through MCF. I am glad that God chose to use MCF to fulfill one of His greatest promises to humankind.
In my child rescue mission, I have been strongly inspired by God’s words in Genesis 50:19–21, which says, “But Joseph said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.’” Through His Word, I have learned not to be scared or afraid of anything. I have learned to trust in Him because He is a giver and saviour of lives. Through the example of Joseph in these verses, God manifested His love for humankind.
This explains why our success story at MCF has hinged on giving and doing something with all our heart without doubt, hesitation or complaining. It is important that when you do something, you do it with all your heart and with love. We should love others as if our lives depended on it. We should love like we may never love again, and we should always be ready to help and comfort the needy at all times. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry and a bed to the homeless. Be quick to show love to desperate and hurting souls. Be generous with the different things that God has given you. That way, God’s cheerful presence will be evident in you.
This is summed up in 1 Peter 4:9 –11:
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever.
Furthermore, the Bible says in Deuteronomy 28:8–12,
The LORD will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to…The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.
These are some of the great Bible verses that have guided me since I embarked on helping the needy and vulnerable children in Kenya and across East Africa. Having witnessed the great power of God, I chose to be a man of deep faith. When others were full of worries and on the verge of giving up, I trusted in God to provide for all our needs.
Despite being located in a semi-arid region, MCF is one of the leading agricultural centres in Kenya. God has blessed the work of our hands, and we have been able to grow a lot of food to feed our children, sell some of it for sustainability, and share the rest with the hungry community. We receive hardly any meaningful rainfall throughout the year, the temperatures are usually high, and yet we are able to irrigate our farms to yield a significant produce. We grow maize, tomatoes and French beans among other farm produce for the sustainability of the centre. Our barns are full of harvests, and our children have never lacked food. This is a manifestation of God’s love for His people.
Finally, our anniversary celebration was a testimony of the joy that God has brought to everyone at MCF for 25 years. The Lord has gifted the MCF children with the exceptional blessing of being able to smile and play regardless of all the misfortunes they faced earlier in life. I often listen to the sounds of joy that come from the children at MCF. I hear nothing that mirrors the horrifying past that they endured. Despite being orphaned, abandoned or abused before being rescued by MCF, these children are now some of the happiest people in Kenya. They talk with each other, crack jokes and are full of happiness. The levels of love and interaction are encouraging.
Through our guidance the MCF children have learned to take life as it comes and are only focused on creating a better future for themselves. This is a result of constantly encouraging them to forget the past and walk with Jesus Christ into the future. I often tell them that if they focus on their past misfortunes they will only end up pitying themselves and will eventually miss seeing the good things God has planned for them.
But, as they fix their eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of their faith, they are transformed with a genuine and true radiance. They become the people they were designed to be. And it is the immense joy experienced by my children that has formed the basis of my happiness as I help them rebuild their lives.
Since I embarked on this ministry in 1989 my life has totally changed. I am happier than I used to be. I get more excited, especially when I see a child who was once abandoned in the streets, left for dead, rejected and even abused, but who is now able to run around joyfully, feeling part of a loving family, pursuing education and being able to achieve his or her dreams without limitations or segregation.
Furthermore, I get a lot of joy from seeing MCF children surrender their lives to Christ and embrace His righteousness. This restoration of souls for Christ gives me extreme joy.
Happiness is the greatest blessing that God has given to the children of MCF, and that’s what we endeavour to sustain. The truth of this blessing made a strong impact on me in July 2013 when I listened to a very emotional testimony from a medical doctor who decided to help us.
This doctor came to us with a team of professionals and other volunteers. The team set up a free medical camp in MCF Ndalani to attend various patients, especially those from the community around MCF who were unable to access medical care. This doctor struggled with the realization that he was coming to meet and help needy and suffering children in Africa. He had never been to Africa before. But he had heard of it as a place full of suffering and sadness. And so he had prepared himself to offer both medical and, as a counsellor on family matters, psychosocial services.
The doctor admitted to me that before he boarded the plane to Nairobi, he had in his mind a picture of suffering, crying, sad and very sick people who needed a lot of material and moral support. He came to Kenya thinking that he was going to meet a very dejected and suffering population.
But when he arrived in Ndalani, he was surprised that the so-called needy and suffering children were instead very happy, making a lot of noise while playing with each other in the field and running all over the compound. These children lined up to sing and welcome the Canadian team. And when the children went for devotional services, they sang melodious songs and danced with joy.
The doctor did not meet depressed and miserable faces as he had expected. He was taken aback. He wondered how children with a sad past, no parents, no proper clothing and no shoes were able to be so happy. He even contrasted the MCF scenario with the well-to-do society of the Western world where he said children were given virtually every material thing that they desired in life—good shoes, food, cars, housing, a good education, luxurious holidays—but they were habitually unhappy. He said that as a psychologist and motivational speaker, this scenario had been bothering him for many years.
He revealed to me as we chatted outside the MCF Ndalani Medical Clinic, “I thought I was coming here to help alleviate the suffering of these children and other community members, but I have instead ended up being helped by them. I have realized that happiness has nothing to do with material possessions. It has nothing to do with social class. It’s all about accepting God and allowing Him to dwell in you in spite of the circumstances you are in. I now know that one can be happy, regardless of what they own or do not own.”
The doctor and the other volunteers, in conjunction with the MCF medical team, helped to treat hundreds of Yatta sub-county residents. The 10-day exercise took place from July 2 to 12, 2014. It saw over 2,000 people from the Ndalani, Yatta, Kithimani, Sofia and Matuu areas given specialized diagnoses and the treatment of various ailments such as malaria, typhoid, fever, body pains, common cold and arthritic related complications, among other diseases. Specialist doctors were also on hand to handle issues related to dental and eye problems.
Their team leader, Annie, said they were in Kenya to use their medical skills to give back to the society. She said, “We thank God for the various skills and knowledge that He has given us, and we want to be useful to the suffering people of God.”
All of this caused me to reflect on what God has accomplished in my life. As a child, I would never have predicted my life would have turned out the way it has. Who could possibly have imagined that all this could happen? And yet, when I think of the greatness of God—how awesome, powerful and loving He is—I see how His faithfulness has made everything possible.
Chapter Two: Humble Beginnings
It is amazing to realize all that God has accomplished in my life from where I began. It reminds me that God is never limited by our circumstances.
I was born on January 7, 1949, in Kathithyamaa village in Kangundo, Machakos County. I am the firstborn among ten children, nine boys and one girl. Our childhood was very difficult because our poor parents could hardly provide for us.
We lived from hand to mouth, one day at a time. My father, Daudi Kaleli, was a squatter with no land of his own. He occasionally worked on farms with my mother, Rhoda Mukina, in order to feed us. In most cases, whenever they could not provide for us, we had to seek other means of survival for ourselves elsewhere.
In an attempt to cope with our difficult life, my father would often stay away from home. He would only come back at night, and often very drunk. He developed violent tendencies, which added more domestic problems to the already existing ones.
Our clothing was nothing more than tatters. Our housing was ramshackle. I led the life of a street child. The only difference between me and the present-day street children is that I never roamed around in town streets or sniffed glue. Still, I had many similarities with them. I regularly begged for food from neighbours and wandered a lot in the village, to the point that I became a nuisance. Some children from well-to-do families laughed at me as I asked for something to eat from their parents. It was humiliating. But I chose to be ashamed and embarrassed rather than to die of hunger.
When I was six years old, my parents left for Molo in the then Rift Valley province to search for employment. They hoped to earn a living by doing menial jobs in the expansive agricultural farms. I was left in the care of an aunt, who was also very poor. Together with my siblings, I led a life of begging for food from neighbours and other well-wishers. It was not an easy thing to do. But the survival instinct has a strange way of helping to overcome feelings of shame. I regularly moved from one relative to another seeking help, just trying to hang on in life, doing nothing more than existing.
My day started with standing under a scorching sun. I would eat sugarless porridge on those rare occasions when we were able to have something to eat. I would then plot my next move to find some manual job to do in the village. Some days we found work and eventually got some food. But often there were no jobs. And that meant no food.
Despite the harsh economic and social challenges that surrounded us, I had a burning ambition and desire to succeed and make a difference in my life and the lives of my family members. So I tracked the whereabouts of my parents to the city of Molo, where my father was working in white colonial settler farms. Here I started class (grade) 1. But life continued to be unbearable. Not only did we not have food or clothing, my drunken father had sunk even deeper into alcoholism.
I returned to Kangundo a year later and joined the Kyamulendu primary school. I later transferred to Kathithyamaa, where I lived with my relatives. By the grace of God, I was able to complete primary education (grade 8) in 1966 at the age of 17. Unfortunately, I never proceeded to secondary school, due to a lack of money for the fees.
With so many struggles, I began to lose hope in life. I felt that my fate on earth had been sealed—that I was bound to suffer throughout my entire life. I developed a feeling that I would never progress in life. I saw myself as doomed.
I even contemplated committing suicide.
But little did I know that God had good plans for me. He had a purpose for my life. He had designed me to carry out a specific calling.
Yet all of this would happen only in His perfect timing.
During that period of suffering and confusion, a friend invited me to a church event taking place in the nearby town of Kangundo. I decided to go, even though I was not born again and had little interest in the Word of God. I was raised in a society where the Bible was hardly ever mentioned. God was not on my mind. However, I chose to attend this event out of curiosity to see how Christians did their singing and dancing.
When I arrived at the church, I saw a huge crowd. As the pastor preached, I felt he was talking about the very things that were happening in my life. He talked about Christ’s invitation to those who were carrying heavy burdens in their hearts to come to Him and find rest. He talked about God being able to create a way where there seems to be no way and that He turns around difficult circumstances.
“Come to Him, those who labour, and He will comfort you,” the preacher said. “Cast your burden unto Jesus, because He cares for you,” the pastor went on to beseech the gathering. He then added, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” He summed up by reading a Scripture that said, “I am the way and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). I felt the fire of salvation burning within me, and without hesitation I gave my life to Christ that day. I became a born-again Christian. I found a new bearing in life and a renewed hope in God. I was able to relax and allow God to take control of my life.
I went back home a very happy and relieved young man. I had been battling with so many needs, worrying about many things in life—poverty, a lack of education and a bleak future. The more I worried about them, the more difficult they became. I now resolved to allow God to take control of my life and carry my burden. I acquired a small New Testament Bible, which I carried with me in my pocket wherever I went. I mandated myself to read it at least once a day.
As I read the Bible and committed myself to God, I was impacted by 1 Peter 5:5–11:
You who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Yes, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” As a young person, I felt that this section of the Bible was directly addressing me. I chose to obey it fully. Prior to the Kangundo gospel event, I had become desperate. I had thought that taking my own life was the only way out. I saw nothing good in life. But this portion of Scripture reminded me that God cares for me.
At that moment, I was weak both physically and emotionally because I lacked most of the things I desired in life. Yet this verse revealed to me that the “God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong.”
***
One day, on a visit to my relatives in Kithimani, I received information that the government was recruiting soldiers for the Kenya Army. There were only two days to go before the exercise would take place in Machakos. I had been harbouring a desire to join the military because I thought I was strong and capable of serving in the disciplined forces. Whenever I encountered soldiers, I would look at them in awe and admiration. So now I had to move quickly in order to try my luck at getting enlisted.
Because of my lack of resources, I did not have even a shilling to board a vehicle to Machakos. My relatives in Kithimani could not help either. But this did not deter me from going to Machakos to attend the recruitment exercise. By faith, I decided to walk all the way from Kithimani to Machakos town through the expansive Yatta plateau. This would be a 50-kilometre journey. I left home very early and walked through thickets, rocks and grasslands under the scorching sun of Ukambani.
There was no specific road to follow. I got my bearings through natural geography as I walked towards Machakos to secure my goal of a military job. At times I would walk for over five kilometres without seeing a home or even meeting a single person. Whenever I met people on the road, I asked them for the directions. I was glad when their answers indicated I was heading in the right direction.
I was alone for most of the journey. I feared being attacked by wild animals, but that did not deter me from soldiering on. I only stopped occasionally to eat wild fruit and drink water from the river. During this journey I was convinced that “though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil, because the Lord protects me.”
Between the towns of Kithimani and Machakos, I had to cross two major rivers, the Athi River and the Thwake River. I managed to cross the Athi River with the help of young men who had boats. Their work was to help people cross from one side to the other for a fee of 50 cents. I used my last coin to pay for their service.
Nightfall found me in Kabaa, and I slept in the corner of one of the shops. I resumed my journey early the following morning and walked straight into the Iveti hills; I did not go in the Makutano direction. Scaling these hills was not easy, but I managed to climb up and descend down the rocks.
When I came to the Thwake River, there was no bridge to cross over. But as a determined young man nothing was going to hinder me from reaching my desired destination. I waded through the waters and managed to cross the river by the use of sticks to measure the depth and employing the hop, step and jump style, also known as triple jump. I arrived in Machakos town just as the evening was approaching, very tired and very hungry.
I did not know anyone in Machakos town. I did not have any money for food or accommodation. Strangely, after such a long and difficult journey, I felt neither hungry nor tired. All I longed for was to join the army and get an opportunity to turn my life around. I spotted some young men talking by the roadside, and I humbly approached them, greeted them and told them that I had come all the way from Kithimani to attend a military recruitment exercise.

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